Firestone Walker Mocha Merlin is on the can radar in Paso Robles, California.
In 2014, the brewery released a Velvet Mocha Merlin, an oatmeal stout is infused with coffee beans and cocoa nibs. That beer appeared as a part of The Winter Bundle that year. Assuming the beers are related, Mocha Merlin follows the same creamy, coffee path.
The brewery’s can lineup includes DBA, Pale 31, Union Jack IPA, Easy Jack IPA, Pivo Hoppy PIls, Luponic Distortion and new Leo v. Ursus.
Firestone Walker Mocha Merlin will be a available in 12 ounce cans/ 6 packs. Estimated release is early fall, 2017. The brewery has not yet announced this release.
Founders KBS. Still one of the most widely known beers in America. As we roll into the spring filled days of April, KBS is making its national return.
In case you are someone that has never had the joy of Founders KBS, make it your goal this year.
According to Founders, Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) is the most sought after beer they produce in their Grand Rapids, Michigan home. (Counter argument: whisper the letters CBS near a beer geek and see what happens.) The phenomenon can be traced back to over a decade ago.
Over the years of covering KBS releases at Beer Street Journal, we’ve mentioned little pieces of the story of how this beer came to be, and it all starts in 2001. Co-founder Dave Engbers was eating chocolate covered espresso coffee beans that a taproom regular had given him. After washing the beans down with a porter, the meshing of coffee, chocolate, and beer nuances gave him an idea.
The brewery’s other co-founder Mike Stevens called the Jack Daniels distillery and asked for used bourbon barrels to fill with beer. According to Founders, that was a bit of a silly thought in the early 2000s. Those first barrels were filled with Breakfast Stout, another fan favorite, and left to age. The duo were close to mimicking the flavors in found in that taproom epiphany from the previous year. Something was still missing.
The birth of KBS.
We’d like to tell you there was some sort of “Birth of Christ” moment that brought Kentucky Breakfast Stout into the world. Ultimately, like every brewery tweaking recipes it was a few simple changes – the addition of espresso beans and chocolate to a new imperial stout base. The beer phenomenon was born.
The meteoric rise to fame eventually sent the barrel-aging underground to a nearby gypsum mine that Founders uses to age KBS for a full year. What was once just two barrels has grown to 1,000s in order to quell the thirst of the barrel-aged loving horde. Even with a football field’s worth of oak, that still won’t be enough.
Write this down. The 2017 edition of Founders KBS is stunning. Stop listening to some know-it-all that will try to tell you that this beer wasn’t as good as it was (insert year here.) With any barrel-aged beer, there will ALWAYS be minor flavor fluctuations. This isn’t pale ale we are talking about here. This year’s release is big on vanilla flavors, that turn over to a symphony of chocolate and coffee, finishing with a lingering alcoholic heat. This is the good you need in your life.
Founders KBS debuts nationally once again starting April 1st in both bottles and draft. New for 2017 – 750 milliliter bottles.
Do us a favor. Don’t sit on this beer. Don’t wait for some special day in the future that may never come. Open it with friends or loved ones. No better time like today.
Image: Beer Street Journal
Southern Tier Thick Mint, a new imperial stout by the New York based brewery, has shipped for the first time.
The brewery’s Blackwater Series is home to some of the most well known beers in the industry. Creme Brûlée, Choklat, & Mokah imperial stouts are just a few examples. Spring brings Girl Scout cookies, and Southern Tier has a perfect beer pairing.
Southern Tier Thick Mint mimics one of the most popular Girl Scout cookies out there, Thin Mints. (For some reason we always find them in people’s freezers.) The 10% alcohol by volume imperial stout is brewed with cocoa nibs and mint. Another dessert beer cometh.
If the past has taught us anything, it’s this. When Southern Tier makes a flavored imperial stout, flavor is what you are going to get. While Thick Mints is truly like drinking a cookie, the brewery showed enough restraint to where it pairs well with its inspiration, while being very drinkable on on its own.
We made big ways when we introduced Choklat in 2007. Since then, our affection for decadent, flavorful, dessert-like beers and a zeal to venture into the far corners of the flavor world, have been the drivers in our endless quest to brew the perfect indulgence.
Southern Tier Thick Mint is now available in 12 ounce bottles and draft.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Burial Beer Winnower debuts in cans on March 10th.
Asheville, North Carolina local French Broad Chocolates brought Burial Beer the cocoa nibs, and the brewery combined them with fresh raspberries. It was up to the brewers to find balance. Burial refers to the beer as in extreme luxury (a mortal sin). You decide.
What which we crave, we seek endlessly. Whether morning, noon, or night, our dreams are overrun with unearthly delights. Our eyes wide, seeking an out of body experience, lost in the depths of decadence. But we learn. The Winnower peels back the layers of excess, uncovering the beauty of balance. Blended among a backbone of well-kilned chocolate malts, our mild, black Porter rests upon 300 pounds of local, French Broad Chocolates cocoa nibs and an immense amount of crushed raspberries.
Burial Beer Winnower will be available 16oz cans (4 packs) when the brewery opens on March 10th. Limited distribution to follow.
Ballast Point Red Velvet, seen on draft in the past, is now apart of a new “Nitro” bottle program.
Nitrogen infused bottles, once used exclusively by world renowned Guinness, have been adopted by various U.S. based breweries over the past few years. Left Hand Brewing was notably first with Nitro Milk Stout bottles debuting at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011. Samuel Adams and Oskar Blues have followed up with their own nitro releases. Now Ballast Point has their own nitrogen infused bottles to kick off 2017.
Ballast Point Red Velvet, a unique twist on an oatmeal stout, is a future Nitro Series release already available on nitro taps. The California based brewery created a chocolatey stout that resembles the cake for which it was named. So much so that pours red, thanks the to a hefty helping of beet juice. The foamy head on the beer truly is the icing on the cake.
You want a beer that gets weird? You’ve found it. It’s a stout that pours blood red, and tastes a bit like chocolate frosting, and creamy too. A beer that really makes you feel all the feels because your eyes are telling you one thing and your tastebuds are telling you another. Don’t worry about the beats either. You’ll only find them in the color. A tasty mindfu$k indeed.
Ballast Point Red Velvet is a 12 ounce bottle release, shipping nationally starting in January, 2017.
Debut: January, 2017
The Bruery Share This OC ships this month, marking the third release in the brewery’s charitable series.
The series of imperial stouts are all about sharing the love. Both with friends and with those in need. This edition of the imperial stout is inspired by southern California’s history with oranges. California citrus once was called the “second gold rush.” Orange County was once home to millions of orange trees, and still grow quite well there, if you can afford the land.
Taking the roasty, chocolatey base that is Share This, the brewers added cocoa nibs from San Francisco’s TCHO Chocolates, orange zest, and vanilla beans. The result is what we figure will be something a bit like a chocolate orange you get in your stocking at Christmas. Except this one gets you drunk, not hyper.
Drawing upon the southern Cali inspiration, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Food Forward. The group works to eradicate food waste and act as a bridge to get fresh healthy produce to over 1.25 million of the region’s most at risk.
“It’s hard to not have an affinity for oranges when you grow up in Orange County. Oranges and chocolate are a natural pair, each flavor enhancing the other. We’re excited to bring this flavor combination to Share This, and to support Food Forward, a local charity that benefits our community by providing delicious, fresh fruit to those who might not have access to it otherwise.” – Patrick Rue, The Bruery Founder & CEO
Thus far, the Share This Series has raised nearly $100,000 dollars for selected charities.
The Bruery Share This OC will be available starting in March, in 750 milliliter bottles.
PIC: The Bruery
Expect this one to pour like motor oil. Meet Hi-Wire 10W-40 Imperial Stout.
This decadent imperial stout is brewed with fresh vanilla beans, dark chocolate from Asheville local French Broad Chocolates, and Organic Dynamite Roasting Company coffee beans. The sum of the parts means one big decadent way to drink your dessert.
The beer truly delivers on flavor. Coffee, chocolate and vanilla in a big stout is heaven to us, but what we can’t get over is the branding. Sure it would be easy to find some creature from Greek mythology, or an obscure Shakespearian phrase, combine with some comic book art, and launch the beer. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. In this case, when we say this beer pours like motor oil, we have a can that follows suit. This release is just the start of something new for Hi-Wire Brewing.
…coffee accentuates the cocoa and adds slight roast to balance out the vanilla in this dessert beer.
Hi-Wire 10W-40 Imperial Stout became available in 16 ounce cans starting January 6th.